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February 18, 2010

Barry Callebaut and Mars sign cocoa flavanols agreement

Cocoa flavanols – the natural compounds found in the cocoa fruit that are linked to circulatory and other health benefits – soon will be easier to identify and obtain when making nutritional choices, thanks to a new cross-licensing and cooperation agreement between Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut AG.

The two have partnered in an effort to progress toward creating a commonly used standard for measuring useful flavanols in food, broadening acceptance and availability of flavanol-containing products with guaranteed flavanol content.

According to a release, cocoa flavanol-containing products can be a part of a healthy diet. However, it adds, simply having a higher percent cacao, being a dark chocolate or claiming antioxidants as the main benefit of cocoa misses the point – this demonstrates the need for a means to measure and indicate adequate levels of flavanols consistent with recent scientific studies.

“While flavanols are naturally abundant in cocoa, unless you are specifically measuring and carefully handling a product throughout the manufacturing process, there is just no guarantee the product contains meaningful levels of the flavanols,” explains Mary Wagner, general manager of Mars Botanical, a scientific unit of Mars, Inc. dedicated to flavanol research and product development that recently launched CirkuHealth – a cocoa extract-based dietary supplement – in the Untied States.

“For nearly two decades, we’ve been studying the process of measuring and maximizing the retention of cocoa flavanols and uncovering their related health benefits, resulting gin over 100 scientific publications and a broad patent portfolio,” she adds. “Over the last five years, we have also sold products like CocoVia and continue to sell Dove Rich Dark Chocolate, both high in flavanol content. This agreement with Barry Callebaut will now guarantee reliable flavanol levels in more chocolate products around the globe.

Starting this month, Barry Callebaut AG began licensing Mars patents and will display the Mars Cocoapro “bean in hand” logo on its Acticoa products in the United Sates and other markets with an assured consistently high level of cocoa flavanol content.

“Acticoa chocolate has been on the European market for nearly five years and this new cooperation will allow us to even better serve our customers worldwide …” says Hans P. Vriens, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut. “This agreement is an important step in making chocolate alternatives with clear flavanol levels available to a much broader audience, around the world. …

“Based on years of our own clinical studies,” he continues, “we know cocoa flavanols offer a potentially substantial health benefit, and we know consumers are increasingly seeking healthier products that offer added value. We can all gain through a consistent method to assure consumers that we’re delivering these important compounds in our products, and through an aligned way in which we communicate these levels.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike Zwiebach permalink
    February 19, 2010 8:45 am

    This article is from the newest sweet and healthy newsletter from Candy Industry Mag.
    It confuses me as they [Mars, Callebaut, etc.] never explain why we should believe their product has these flavanols except that they will tell us they do. What makes their dark chocolate richer in these flavanols than any other. They say below:

    “For nearly two decades, we’ve been studying the process of measuring and maximizing the retention of cocoa flavanols and uncovering their related health benefits, resulting in over 100 scientific publications and a broad patent portfolio,” she adds. “Over the last five years, we have also sold products like CocoVia and continue to sell Dove Rich Dark Chocolate, both high in flavanol content. This agreement with Barry Callebaut will now guarantee reliable flavanol levels in more chocolate products around the globe.

    But they never explain why their process makes chocolate retain higher levels of flavanols. Seems arbtirary. The best way to know that flavanols are retained at a high level is to make sure that the cacao bean has not been heated. It is much easier and truthful to make this claim than any claim by Mars or Barry Callebault.

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